I registered for the Great Wall of China half marathon! EEEEK!!
There’s a few races that are actually held there, so for clarification, I am running the one that has been organized by a local company that’s hosted the race for 16 years. The website is a bit difficult to read, but you can learn more about the race here: http://www.greatwallmarathon.com.cn/. I chose this one over the other race companies because I wasn’t locked in to a tour package, the race registration was significantly cheaper, and because they had all distances available (5K, 10K, 13.1, and 26.2). The date of the race also coincided with a cheaper flight. The only downside is that the race is in the middle of the week (a Wednesday!) which is a bit strange for me.
So far, the costs have been fairly minimal, given that it is an international race:
- $70 for an Airbnb for seven days in Beijing
- $450 for RT airfare from Denver to Beijing
- $198 for race registration (sale during the holidays!)
- $210 for visa processing
A few interesting nuggets of information for you, in case you are interested in ever running the Great Wall of China marathon:
- There is a 10 hour time limit for the full marathon
- The social media coordinator for GWCM highly recommends anyone who can run a full marathon in 5.5+ hours to register for a half marathon instead
- According to one Great Wall of China race recap, one year boasted an 18% completion rate for the full marathon
- Average finisher times by distance:
- 5K: 1:00-1:30
- 10K: 1:30-2:30
- Half marathon: 5 hours
- Full marathon: 8 hours
- The race winner in 2016 for this course ran the full marathon in 6 hours 30 minutes.
I’m doing a lot of homework – researching other folks’ race recaps, putting together a more regimented schedule for strength training, and readjusting my other races to accommodate this one. Training for this will certainly be quite the adventure! I am absolutely terrified of this course and all that I’ve heard about it, but I guess that’s what makes the journey so memorable.